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India Temple Treasure

16th-century Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

This week, I was reading about the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in  Trivandrum in the far south of Indian.  After allegations of  mismanagement and poor security, the temple’s vaults were opened to inventory its holdings.  It is apparently not uncommon for temples in Indian to own golden or jeweled precious objects donated by rich patrons over the centuries.  But at Padmanabhaswamy, they found what can really only be described as a Treasure – with a capital T!  Estimates range from $11-22 billion US dollars worth of gold, diamonds and gems.  The Indian government quickly stepped in to protect the site and arbitrate how this wealth is spent and/or protected.  I am looking forward to the final inventory and more photos of the art in the vaults but it’s mind-boggling to think that all of this was hidden underground for so long!

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